Horses To Follow » Binge Drinker

Binge Drinker

Binge Drinker looked very good in easily landing the three-mile handicap hurdle at Bangor on Saturday.

Settled nicely in fourth place just behind the early leaders through the early stages of the race, he travelled well, and he easily moved to the front from Our Mick as they jumped the fifth last flight. He jumped better in front when he wasn’t being crowded, and he started to come clear of his rivals, still on the bridle, around the home turn. He guessed a little at the second last flight, but that was the only worry that his supporters had. He popped over the last and kept on nicely all the way to the line under an almost motionless Paul Townend.

Visually, this was a really impressive performance. Rebecca Curtis’ horse could have been called as the most likely winner fully from the fifth last flight, from the point at which he eased to the front. The race may have fallen apart a little, with Western Jo, who had been left 20 lengths at the start, staying on for second and Grand National-bound Al Co finishing third, but Binge Drinker won it like a good horse, and the time was really good, the fastest time of the day by a fair way and 0.04secs/furlong faster than Racing Post par.

Binge Drinker is only six, and this was just his sixth race over hurdles. Winner of his first three hurdle races this term after winning a bumper last season, he wasn’t disgraced in a brace of Grade 2 three-mile novices’ contests at Cheltenham and Doncaster during the winter, and he was obviously well handicapped on a mark of 133 for his handicap debut on Saturday. He has been raised 12lb to a mark of 145 for this, but that may not be sufficient to prevent him from going well again now in a better race. Also, he could still be better than a handicapper. He seemed to bounce off this better ground, and he will be of interest now at Aintree or Punchestown if he makes the trip. He could be an interesting outsider in the Grade 1 three-mile novices’ hurdle at Punchestown.

21st March 2015